TOKYO (Astroscale PR) — We have begun operations for our groundbreaking ELSA-d debris removal mission’s next phase: an autonomous capture demonstration in orbit. On January 25th, the ELSA-d servicer spacecraft successfully released its client spacecraft and began autonomous relative navigation, maintaining a constant and safe distance from the client spacecraft over multiple orbits, as designed.
Following an excellent start to mission operations, our team detected anomalous spacecraft conditions. For the safety of the mission, we have decided not to proceed with the capture attempt until the anomalies are resolved. Both spacecraft are operational and safely separated. We are in communication with agencies, regulators, space surveillance networks, and our orbital neighbors. We are continuing with the mission and will provide an update as soon as possible.